Roasted butternut squash, hints of maple bourbon, creamy goat cheese, and pumpkin seeds – could you ask for anything more? Well yes, an easy to assemble butternut squash soup recipe that comes together in under an hour (if your squash is pre roasted). If this sounds like something you are interested in, you’re in for a treat. Our maple bourbon butternut squash soup is going to hit the spot!
I start off preparing my squash in bulk ahead of time. When squash is plentiful and cheap in the fall (one local PYO farm was selling them for $1 each!, I stock up and spend a weekend watching the squash roast. It may be as mundane as watching paint dry, but I promise it smells so much better.
Roasting the Squash
To roast the squash, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a large baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving enough foil to wrap on top of the squash so they won’t dry out. Cut the squash in half, discarding the seeds, pulp, and any stems. You can compost the seeds and pulp, but beware of the “bonus” squash plants that will overtake your compost heap come spring. You can also leave the seeds out for squirrels and other wildlife friends if you aren’t concerned about attracting the wrong ones. Place the squash in the baking pan, wrap the foil over the top, and roast in the oven until soft enough to spoon out of the shell. This will vary depending on the size and thickness of your squashes.
“But wait,” you say, “You didn’t say if the squash should be cut side up or down.” I waiver on this point: cut side up prevents the extra juices from running onto the foil and leaking out to form a sticky goo on the pan, but cut side down provides a less watery finished product. Do whichever suits your fancy.
Uncover the cooked butternut squash and let cool until you can handle it without steaming yourself. Scoop out of the shell into a food processor such as my trustworthy food processor and blend until smooth. I freeze the puree in 4-cup portions; you can use a food storage container or Ziploc freezer bags. When you’re ready to use, defrost in the refrigerator or microwave, or simply place into the soup pot still frozen. Can you use the frozen block of squash found in the freezer section of your local grocery story? Of course, but it will be runnier and have less flavor. Still, there’s nothing wrong with utilizing frozen vegetables when you need a shortcut; just cut the amount of other liquids to maintain the desired viscosity.
The water-sauteing of the onion is optional. I prefer it in recipes that don’t require the onions to be browned because it requires no oil. I also find it easier to not burn the onions using this method because less stirring is required, but you will need to monitor them to make sure the water doesn’t boil off and leave you with onion bits crusted on the bottom of your pan. Preheat the saucepan on medium, add the onions and enough water to cover them, and simmer or “saute” until the onions are soft.
The method used to blend your soup is up to you. I use an immersion blender to save on both time and dirty dishes, but you may need to use a blender if the squash is not pre-pureed.
As for this maple bourbon butternut squash soup itself, I provide some flavor options in the notes, but the recipe itself is the way I nearly always make it. Why mess with perfection? The soup will refrigerate well for a delicious lunch later in the week, but the texture will be off if you freeze and reheat. You’ll have to trust me that too many leftovers of this velvety soup will never be a problem.
Enjoy the recipe and don’t forget to let us know how you made out in the comments below!
Maple Bourbon Butternut Squash Soup
- 1/4 large yellow onion diced
- 4 cups butternut squash puree
- 1 medium apple peeled, cored, and chopped
- 2 cups vegetable stock low sodium, approximately (see step 2)
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup dairy-free milk
- 1/2 cup non-dairy creamer unflavored and unsweetened
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Fresh cracked pepper
- 4 Jim Bean maple bourbon
- 1/3 cup Pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup Goat cheese crumbles
- In a large pan, saute the onion over medium to low heat in 2 tablespoons water until soft and translucent, approximately 5 minutes.
- Add the butternut squash puree, apple, and stock. The amount of stock will depend on the liquidity of your squash and the desired finished consistency. Two cups provides a thick, velvety bisque texture, but you can add more stock later if you find the soup to be too thick.
- Simmer covered for approximately 25 minutes, until the apple is soft.
- Remove from heat and blend with your immersion blender.
- Return to heat. Add nutmeg, almond milk, non-dairy creamer, and salt and pepper. Reheat gently but do not allow to bubble.
- Stir in 3 capfuls of the maple bourbon. The fourth capful is for the chef to ensure quality control!
- Ladle into soup bowls or mugs. Top with the goat cheese crumbles and pumpkin seeds.
- Instead of the nutmeg and maple bourbon (but why would you want to skip that??), try this recipe with fresh grated or powdered ginger. Or use 1/4 teaspoon each of nutmeg and cinnamon and a sprinkle of ground cloves for a more pumpkin spice taste.
- If you have no maple bourbon on hand, regular bourbon or dark rum would work as well.